Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Serious Yum Kimchi

The first time I ate kimchi was on an airplane flying towards Seoul.  I didn’t order the kimchi specifically, I ordered a meal called a bibimbap.  I figured that because it was so much fun to say,

bibimbap (link to listen)

. . . . that it had to be as much fun to eat. 

Bibimbap means “mixed meal.”  According to Wikipedia (which we all know is the world’s most trusted source of known facts {grin}) bibimbip is,

served as a bowl of warm white rice topped with namul (sautéed and seasoned vegetables) and gochujang (chili pepper paste). A raw or fried egg and sliced meat (usually beef) are common additions. The ingredients are stirred together thoroughly just before eating.  It can be served either cold or hot.

Ours was served cold.

And I pronounced bibimbap wrong. 

The bibimbap was great, despite the fact that at the time I had NO IDEA what I was eating.  It looked like eel and who knows what else. 

I tried the kimchi . . . and we didn’t like each other.  My taste buds were not used to such an acquired taste.  Kind of like vegemite. 

Fast forward six years.  I like to ferment.  I enjoy a satisfying, zesty, and crisp sauerkraut.


Kimchi is my newest and latest fermentation endeavor and love.  It tastes NOTHING like what I had on the noisy airplane.  And yes, I do remember what the nastiness tasted like.  Your taste buds change every 7 years.  It has only been six.  I think.

It has passed the kid test, the teenager test, and the grown up test.  It just might surprise YOU!



  • 1 Napa cabbage
  • 1 bunch of green onions
  • 3 peeled carrots
  • 1 bunch of radishes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 4 chili peppers (mild or spicy – to do it over again, I would go for spicier)
  • 4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon Whey per mason jar (optional)


For the majority of my chopping, I allowed my Cusiniart to do the work.  I have also found that various sized cheese graters can do the job.  Use a small grater for your carrots and ginger, and a large hole cheese grater for your cabbage (or just chop it finely). 

Mix the vegetables with salt.

Place kimchi mixture into mason jars, pounding down to release juices. 

Add whey over the top (optional), cover with a lid, and set at room temperature to ferment for 2-3 days without opening. 


Transfer to fridge after that and use with food!  I suggest chopped vegetables, chips (if you eat them), chicken, lamb, hamburgers . . . . even plain! 

For more great recipes, click on the piece of blueberry pie!  Cara has got some great Grain Free Meal plans! 

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